The frugal mind

Having been forced to live on a limited budget, we have learned many ways to cut back on spending. We may not be able to save, but at least we are limiting our outgoing expenses. Gone are the days that we would have a “shopping spree”. Not that we were ever big spenders, but there were times when it was necessary to undertake a shopping expedition to stock up on supplies of clothes, shoes, etc. After all, kids are constantly growing.

When they were younger, the kids never minded buying clothes from charity shops. They have not even hit puberty yet, but they are starting to get a sense of style, which makes it difficult to persuade them to shop at charity shops and jumble sales. But fortunately, we have not needed to make any additional purchases other than uniforms for school. Even for those, sometimes we had to buy clothes in a slightly larger size. It’s better to take in and up a little, then let it out as the kids grow, rather than buying more and more over time.

Our spending habits have never been extravagant or frivolous and I have never been able to understand those who do spend lavishly. Though we have shopped at charity shops, I never stopped to consider those who donate to charities. I think it wonderful that we have generous people who would donate. Yet, I can only assume that those who donate are comfortably well-off. After all, why give away so much good, useful items unless you can afford to. Nevertheless, I am grateful for their charity.

I would never have considered donating goods such as towels and bedsheets. I would use them until they were threadbare. Even then, I’d find other uses for them, such as cleaning rags. Same thing with clothes. We’d wear them until we either outgrew them or there were holes everywhere. By that time, they were not worth donating, so we’d have to tear them up for other things.

It is this frugal living that has allowed us to survive so far. It doesn’t work for everyone, especially those who are too fashion conscious, but it works for us. Needless to say, it can’t last forever. Our thrifty habits will probably not change, but we still need to have money coming in in order to get through this recession.

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